Environment ministry eases norms for industry expansion

The environment ministry has allowed companies operating in several industries, including some polluting ones, to expand capacities on the basis of a self-certification that this will not “increase the pollution load”, creating the room for potential misdeclaration (and misuse), especially in light of a traditionally poor monitoring regime.

Earlier this week, the ministry released a user manual for online submission of an undertaking on no increase in pollution load due to expansion, on its Parivesh website.

This follows a notification issued by the ministry on March 2 which states that the Centre deems it necessary to permit increase in production capacity of processing, production and manufacturing sector with or without any change in raw material-mix or product-mix or any change in configuration of the plant without the requirement of prior environmental clearance provided that there is no increase in pollution load.

The March 2 notification is applicable to industries such as coal washing, mineral processing, pesticides, fertilizers, synthetic chemicals such as paint, cement , petrochemicals, and sugar, some of which do have a significant environmental footprint.

hindustan times
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